The self-tape to me is now CRITICAL to the audition process.
The irony is that the audition process used to be far more cinematic when it was a live one-on-one with the casting director – at least the way I coached an audition, anyway. And I coached A LOT of auditions with great success.
I literally created what I call “the theatrical equivalent of a cinematic technique.” I choreographed it, and the actor moved the way a camera moved so as to stimulate the viewer’s eye, and allow the director to SEE the actor in their movie.
However, once the camera entered the room, it seems to me like we lost the cinematic effect. It became a very sterile approach to the audition, and truly lost the humanity – the human-to-human connection.
At a time not that long ago actors were afforded the opportunity to create a relationship with a casting director and subsequently with the director or the producer. This is very much lost in today’s audition process.
This is not a blanket dismissal of all casting directors (casting is one of the hardest jobs. period.). There are still many great casting directors that allow for the personal experience to create that relationship. But we have moved greatly in the direction of an expedited, convenient, “practical” approach to the audition.
We are now handed rules to the recording process, which to me very much handcuffs the actor auditioning, and takes away a great deal of creativity and confidence because they fear that breaking any rule will negate their ability to move forward.
I really never was a great rules-follower – and yet I had great success. Not by arbitrarily ignoring rules, but by creatively circumnavigating them.
I believe we are all in the business of making movies, which encompasses all that the camera purveys.
So why not do that?
You've never been more in control of your audition! Make movies with the audition/self-tape. Shoot yourself – to the best of your ability – in the most cinematic way.
That is not to say to stage a full production, but to show yourself in the best light…no pun intended. Find the best background; The best light and the best sound. Find your best angle. So the director can have the opportunity to view the actor cinematically.
I just want to give the actor the greatest chance to be seen doing their best work, and give them the greatest chance to succeed.